Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Tue 19th – Sat 23rd February 2013


Jasmine Brady

at 22:37 on 19th Feb 2013



Performed almost exclusively through monologue, Richard Cameron's “Can’t Stand up for Falling Down,” directed by Marjam Idriss, follows three women and their intertwined experiences with a destructive man, Royce Boland. As the audience enter the theatre, the three characters are already on stage, unaware of each other and keeping themselves busy. The stage of the Corpus Playroom is used creatively, with household objects hanging on strings creating a domestic setting, and simple furniture separating the characters, clarifying that they are part of separate stories. The presence of the actors as the audience are seated helps to involve the audience more in the story, as well as making the characters seem more like real people so this seems a clever choice in staging.

The set is not changed during the show, although many of the scenes take place outside. Instead, the changes in environment are achieved through sound effects. The audience hears the running water when the characters are situated by the river, and at one point a monologue is accompanied by the humming of one of the other actresses. This is a simple way of avoiding the confusion that comes with moving around set, and allows for quick transitions between scenes.

Lili Thomas opens the play in her role as 14 year old Lynette, explaining how she heard an ambulance and was pleased for it not to be going to her home. Her character later develops into the abused wife of Royce Boland, and Lili maintains a kind of childish hopefulness throughout the play, ensuring that the young girl she plays at the start is remembered in her broken part at the end. Her acting is incredible, most notably when she mimes being abused by Royce without him being present on stage. She gives Lynette a desperate but optimistic personality, and her performance was flawless.

This is not to say that the other two actresses are any less impressive. Chloe France excellently portrays Jodie, a confused child who witnesses the death of her friend, giving her a hatred of Royce Boland that stays with her for her whole life, and Jesse Haughton-Shaw gives a strong performance of Ruby, a pregnant teenager who later struggles to keep Royce, the father, away from her child.

One thing that I was less impressed with in the play, and it is a minor detail, was the use of off stage voices. Ruby’s son is heard through a speaker, as is another character, and I felt that this detracted from the intense performances taking place on stage. However, this did not have a big effect on the overall show.

Tension is maintained throughout the play, and although it is at first not clear how the three women’s lives interact with each other, the plot is not so confusing as to stop it being gripping. As the lights came up at the end of the show, the audience seemed to remain in shock, with people commenting on how scared they had been by the suspense and the horrible situations endured by the three women. The pace of the performance is perfect, moving swiftly between the different characters but making sure that the monologues given by the actresses have time to be considered by the audience, and this results in a thought-provoking, captivating show. I strongly recommend this performance.


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